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Centre for Doctoral Training in Ultra Precision Engineering



Alexandre graduated in 2012 from The University of Reading with an MEng in Robotics and proceeded to work as a field engineer for Schlumberger, specialising in the design and installation of electric submersible pumps (ESP), undertaking an 8 month tour of the North Sea's Forties oil field. He then moved on to work for CRESS Systems as the lead electronic and control engineer, where he designed the condition monitoring systems for a prototype flywheel energy storage system. Joining the University of Cambridge and the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Ultra Precision in 2014, under the supervision of Professor Bill O'Neill, he is now undertaking a joint PhD project between the Institute for Manufacturing and the Diamond Light Source synchrotron facility.


Dr Martin Sparkes

Research Interests

  • Optofluidics
  • Synchrotron Engineering
  • X-Ray Crystallography
  • Nuclear & Particle Physics
  • Focused Ion Beam Machining
  • Robotics & Production Automation

Current research

Alexandre’s current research project investigates a new methodology to improve X-Ray crystallography and nano-particle measurement processes, by improving the current sample delivery and acquisitions system in one of Diamond’s synchrotron beamline detectors. This will be achieved by replacing the current robotic hardware by a commercial, off the shelf, optical tweezing system. The optical tweezers will trap and manipulate the particles of interest, by implementation of a 1064nm laser and optofluidic assembly. Using this technique, the project aims to increase the synchrotron beamline sample targeting accuracy, speed and measurement quality.


A. Diaz, P. Docker, J. Kay, D. Axford, W. O’Neill, G. Evans, M. Sparkes, B. Cordovez, S. Fuglerud, D. Stuart; “The Automation of Nano Particle Sample Delivery for Protein Crystallography Experiments Using an Evanescent Field Optical Tweezing Technique”. MicroTAS 2016, Dublin, 2016

British Conference of Undergraduate Research (BCUR) 2012 – The University of Warwick

Paper: “Standardised Testing of Art Materials Using Terahertz Analysis.”

PhD Student
University of Cambridge
 Alexandre  Diaz
Not available for consultancy